Is Longarming Still a Viable Biz Option


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Humble opinion, but there are quilters who like to piece, there are quilters who like to quilt and there are the ones who like the complete process.  Before I committed to buying mine, I spoke with a couple quilt store owners and with a couple long armers in the area.   They said there was plenty of work in our area.

 

 

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I have had a profitable longarm business for 10 years.  There are many benefits to having a business - a lot of expenses that you would have had any way due to quilting being your hobby, will now become business expenses, offsetting your income. I agree that there is lots of business out there, especially for people that do quality work with a reasonable turn around.  Good luck!

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I will just add, quilting is very rewarding because you become a part of the history of that quilt. You may be the only person who knows that, but to me that was very rewarding. It is hard work, and to be honest, you will need to set aside time for family. But you should do that anyway. It may take a little time to build your business, and you will need sell yourself, but there is plenty of business out there.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am a bit late in responding to this question so I hope you are still looking at messages.

 

I have a longarm business and have had my longarm for 12 years.  Over the last year or so, I see more and more of my customers buying machines to do their own quilts.  I still have enough business to pay my bills but could be busier.

 

Personally I would be cautious in looking at your area right now.  Join several quilt guilds and see how many of the quilts shown at show n tell and at quilt shows are done by the piecer and how many are done by quilters.  Try to talk to some of the longarmers in your area to see how busy they are.  The girls that do the fancy custom quilts for hundreds of dollars have long waiting lists.  I can't afford to do those quilts and make most of my money doing some light custom and edge to edges. 

Three years ago I purchased the Intelliquilter robotic system and have been extremely happy with it and my customers appreciate getting those designs without an additional charge.

If you can, see if there is a rental longarm system in your area before purchasing it so you can make sure you like it.

Best wishes,

Charlene

 

 

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Yes, I am still looking at messages.  :-)  It is a concern because the longarmers here (except for one) only have a two week turn around.  I don't need to make enough money to live on -- just enough to supplement the pension I will be receiving as  I would like to wait a bit to draw social security.  There are two rental places within driving distance, so I plan to visit both.  My retirement is in four years and 7 months, but if I get a machine, would get one in about two years so I have enough time to practice.  

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  • 2 years later...

As an owner of one of the cheaper option frames that you place your regular sewing machine on, I can attest you have no worry about competition from me or anyone using said devices.  They can do a quilt, but chances are it will take us 10 times as long.  Constant movement of the quilt on the frame, lack of computerization to facilitate a timely product are just a couple reasons.If I get more than two or three quilts done this year, I'll be real surprised.  Now if you are approaching this as a business, and willing to invest in a quality top of the line long arm with automation features, plus have the space, and additional materials like batting, thread, backing etc.  And most of all, patience to deal with people who are always expecting a deal, or a quick turn around etc., or want you to fix their shoddy work... well maybe it may pay for itself in time.  But do it for the love of quilting, not to make money or provide income.  You will certainly be disappointed.  There are many more people getting out of the business than getting in.  Many for the wrong reasons.  The truly dedicated and enthusiastic ones will find a way to bring joy to their lives, and be a success, but not everyone measures success in $. 

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